Monday, April 22, 2013

Patience and Putting the Pieces Together

Patience is one character trait that I feel blessed to possess.

Patience is my constant, faithful companion no matter where I travel, down whichever road my embroidery leads me.

This time I really needed Patience since Mrs. Rose was taking me right into doll making territory and I had no idea what to do next.  I needed her more than ever.



One might be tempted to think of Patience as a passive activity... a waiting-around for something or someone.  In reality, a lot of work is being done when I'm patient and I'd liken it more to a period of concentrated strength.

When last we left, I was heading to a mentoring session with Canby Robertson, needlework designer and teacher. Unbeknownst to me, Canby had begun sculpting faces for dolls one weekend after she and her cousin sat down to watch a video by doll artist Akira Blount, Art Dolls: An instructional Documentary Part I:  Heads and Hands.

Akira Blount is an award-winning doll artist.  And though her video is no longer available, I did see that you could rent it on SmartFlix for $9.99.  If ever you wanted to learn soft sculpting and techniques for heads and hands...I highly recommend it.

So...while Canby was sculpting doll faces using Akira's method,  I was struggling to sculpt my little profile face into an old lady face.  When Canby realized this she said, "Susan, you have to watch this video.  I know it will help you."

And so, she loaned me her DVD and I have been changed for the better.   I was amazed at the sequencing of stitches that Akira Blount had perfected over time to properly sculpt the features...how to take one stitch from the corner of the mouth to the ears to get the proper curvature of the mouth, how to sculpt a nostril, an eye socket...etc.



That Buddhist proverb comes to mind..."When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

Lucky for me, both Canby and Akira had shown up just in the nick of time.

They both had helpful suggestions for shading the face...the video recommends using burnt omber and ochre for enhancing detail with an emphasis on not overdoing it...


Canby pointed out the use of a purplish light brown color to use as undertones around the eyes and mouth...this was brilliant (the color is where the brush tip is sitting in the  pic below)...


This color helped to give the right purplish/bluish cast that real skin tends to have...especially older folks.

Likewise, she noted that often the cheek, nose and chin highlight should contain a bit of yellow.  Again, not something I would have ever known on my own and yet it seems to work.  I used both colored pencils and chalk to achieve the facial shading...


Originally I had planned on embroidering the eye but I was concerned that embroidery stitches would crush the sculpting of some of the features of the face so I decided to paint the eye and eyelashes instead.

Right now, Mrs. Rose is in pieces with excitement in anticipation of meeting all of you.   Jack felt sorry for her bald head so he loaned her his red hat...



Now she's ready to cheer on Boston.

And me?  I'm grateful that I'm over this hump, that my teachers showed up when I needed them, and that my vision is starting to come to life.  There's lots more to come with hair, eyeglasses, shoes and clothes...

Not to mention getting her old body put together.

Patience really is a virtue.  Happy Monday everyone.

20 comments:

Createology said...

Susan dear you definitely have patience and it certainly is a virtue. Not only is Mrs. Rose looking wonderful...her details are clearly well defined. Your teachers will be very proud having you as their student. Too funny with Jack's red ball cap. You are so good about telling your story of your journey. Thank you sweet lady...

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

This piece and expecially seeing Mrs. Rose come together is exciting.

FlowerLady

Coeur de freesia said...

You did a great work !! Congratulations !

Tamara said...

Mrs Rose is coming together beautifully! I have learned a lot following your adventure. Can't wait to tune in next week.

Mary Ann said...

I knew you could do it:) Mrs. Rose is wonderful and I'm really looking forward to the rest of this piece coming together.

gracie said...

Wow you are amazing... as usual!

Momma Bear said...

I love seeing Mrs. Rose come to life!
and it is a good reminder to us in the crafting community, that patience is such a intensive concentration of brain power and talent, that it is exhausting and one shouldn't feel embarrassed or lazy for feeling this way.
especially when it has such delightful results!

shawkl said...

Wonderful, just wonderful!

Margaret said...

This is fascinating to watch; you're a braver woman than I! As for her eye -- I thought you'd found some tiny glass one to insert. It gleams! :-)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

You always find the philosophical in your process as you create. I love that about you and your commentary on your project. I always wonder what you will research, practice and conquer next. And YOU call it patience. Well, I guess you are right.

So glad Jack was concerned about Mrs. Rose's head.

xx, Carol

Mouse said...

perfect timing ....she looks wonderful and love the red cap ..lol

I always say patience is a virtue learnt in queues ...lol

can't wait to see her altogether :) love mouse xxxxxx

char said...

Mrs Rose gets more beautiful with each posting. When you get her "old body" put together I have another one you could work on..Lol. You do such great work and storytelling, Love it! Thanks for sharing.

margaret said...

Susan your patience has paid off so very well, the face is coming along wonderfully, the eye is so alive with life. As you say the teacher appeared at just the right time

Rachel said...

Queen Elizabeth I is said to have said that if one really wants a thing, one knows how to be patient and let time pass. I think she would recognise your definition of patience as "concentrated strength". True patience is a much more active thing than people realise!

Beth Ferrier said...

Susan,
You continue to inspire me! I can't tell you how much your approach to your work has influence mine.

Thank you for the Buddhist proverb. I have always thought of my timely teachers as angels with skin on. Even as a child I recognized that I was blessed to have just the perfect teacher at just the right moment. We have so much to learn, if only the patience to wait for the answer.

Judy S. said...

What a fascinating post, Susan! Mrs. R is going to be perfect, right down to the twinkle in her eye. I am sure she appreciated Jack's thoughtfulness! Can't wait to see what happens when you assemble all the parts.

coral-seas said...

I love the twinkle in Mrs Rose's eye. I like her a lot and I think I am going to like her even more when I know her a bit better. How thoughtful of Jack to lend her is cap.

Suztats said...

Serendipity strikes again.
Mrs. Rose looks wonderful! You've really captured the features so well ( the eye is marvelous!) and I can't wait to see more.

Marsha said...

Rose's eye is amazing, along with her whole face, of course. Love the red hat too!

Catherine said...

It is always a treat to see your techniques and progress ~ not only a master with the needle, but the brushes as well! Lol about the baseball cap!

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